My Old Chinese teacher once said that all solutions to problems can be found within 50 paces. I love this little concept. It suggests a life of independence of many of the systems that revolve around us. Obviously with our complicated lives one can’t physically restrict oneself to 50 paces – if your child comes down with the bubonic plague you will need a hospital fast.
The “50 paces” is a reference to self-reliance and a willingness to move towards simplicity. I often think about this little concept when confronted with life’s challenges. It helps me relax into my space, understanding that life doesn’t have to be complicated – it’s a choice. We often choose the complicated path, and while craving simplicity we secretly revel in our entangled and convoluted circumstances and then blame others for it. That’s a difficult road to take because everyone is doing it to us – we give our power away, creating the illusion of lack of choice.
I believe that the “50 paces” philosophy will become more and more compelling as populations squash together and people increasingly grate against each other. Nature cycles between complexity and simplicity and soon we will be entering the “simplicity” cycle. Just when the shift occurs and how disruptive or violent it will be no one knows – but it will happen.
Then it will be a perfect time to start the 50 Paces Church.